Crime

‘I let the fire go’: two women charged in shooting of teen at Kansas City high school

Family and friends remember teen fatally shot outside Kansas City high school

More than 150 gathered to remember An’Janique Wright, who was shot and killed outside Central Academy of Excellence Tuesday. Dozens of balloons were released across the street from where the 15-year-old was shot.
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More than 150 gathered to remember An’Janique Wright, who was shot and killed outside Central Academy of Excellence Tuesday. Dozens of balloons were released across the street from where the 15-year-old was shot.

Jackson County prosecutors have charged two women in the slaying of a Kansas City teenager who was gunned down Tuesday night as she left a basketball game at a Kansas City high school.

Jamya D. Norfleet, 21, is charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action in the killing.

Taylor K. McMillon, 18, is charged as an accessory to second-degree felony murder, accessory to unlawful use of a weapon and felony hindering prosecution in connection with the shooting.

Fifteen-year-old An’Janique Wright was shot and killed about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of Central Academy of Excellence at 3221 Indiana Avenue, where she was not enrolled but was attending the game.

She had been among two groups of people who had gotten into an argument in the school and were escorted out separately, according to court documents.

An’Janique was shot as she and others walked out of the school. She was rushed to a hospital, where she later died.

Anjanique Wright
An’Janique Wright Courtesy of the family

According to court records, investigators connected Norfleet and McMillon to a minivan that was captured on surveillance video as it pulled up to the school. The minivan had temporary license plates and was missing a front right hubcap.

Norfleet allegedly stepped out of the van and began shooting. She later admitted to investigators, “I let the fire go,” which referred to the gunfire, according to documents filed with the charges.

An off-duty Kansas City police officer who was working security at the game later identified McMillon on the surveillance video. The officer recognized McMillon, who attended Central Academy, as the driver of the van and as someone connected to Norfleet.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for McMillon’s phone and were able to find the two women at an apartment in the 1800 block of Topping Avenue. The women were arrested Wednesday.

Police also seized a 9mm handgun from the apartment. Bullets in the gun were consistent with the shell casings recovered at the crime scene, according to court records.

Investigators later found clothing that matched what Norfleet was seen wearing in the surveillance video at the time of the shooting. They also located the minivan allegedly driven by McMillon.

On Wednesday, Kansas City Public Schools officials said the shooting had nothing to do with the school and was a product of gun violence in the community.

There was a “tremendous amount of security” at the game, said Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell. That included the district’s security and armed patrol officers, student resource officers and off-duty police officers.

Fifteen-year-old An’Janique Wright was shot and killed about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday outside the Central Academy of Excellence at 3221 Indiana Avenue. She was leaving a high school basketball game.

But some of An’Janique’s famly members questioned why that security didn’t save the teenager and asked why she wasn’t protected when she left the school.

Terrion Hudson, An’Janique’s 17-year-old foster brother, told reporters outside the school Thursday the family is relieved the suspects are in custody, but there’s “no closure.”

He criticized some of the comments made by the schools superintendent during the news conference Wednesday.

“Dr. Mark (Bedell) said this isn’t a Kansas City Public School District’s problem. Whose problem is it?,” Hudson said. “It’s not just the community’s problem because you all could have helped … How is there hope when you all are giving up on us by pushing her (An’Janique) into danger and harm’s way? That wasn’t hope.”

Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000 bond for Norfleet and a $150,000 bond for McMillon. No court date for the two has been set.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement on Twitter, “Nothing makes sense about a homicide, especially when a teenager dies. That has been said far too many times. We should protect our kids from all gun violence.” 

“My heart goes out to this family,” she continued. “But now we will fight for justice.”

The day after a teenage girl was gun downed as she was leaving a high school basketball game at one of its schools, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell called for the community to step up and cure gun violence.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.


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